"Come as you are!" There is nothing more simple than that.
Our church may be small, but we have big hearts and lots of love for everyone. We believe that no one should be left out of the kingdom of God.
The following history is according to the June 9, 1963 dedication, kindly provide by Delbert and Delores Mullin, with information graciously given by Glenna Taylor. Every effort was made to ensure the content here is accurate.
The history of the Lower Derby United Baptist Church is an interesting one, dating back to the late 1800's.
Rev T M Munroe, of Newcastle, began holding services in the Derby school and local homes in 1879.
The most active member of the church in the early years was Miss Margaret Amos, who took an interest in the Sunday School. Aunt Margaret, as she was affectionately known, went visiting local homes collecting money for the construction of a church. Many people, of varying denominations, contibuted.
The methodist minister, who frequently visited the community at that time, was Mr Parker. However when the church was built in 1884, it was dedicated to the Baptists. The Baptist minister in Newcastle was Rev I E Bill.
According to the Home Missions Board of the Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces, on December 9,1879 Isaac Robert Leighton and his wife, Paulina (née Vye), deeded a piece of property on the South West Miramichi Post Road to the trustees of the Baptist Chapel of Newcastle and Derby. They were James Miller of Newcastle, butcher, Jared Tozer of the Parish of South Esk, Malcolm Amos of the Parish of Derby, farmer, Thomas C Newman of the Parish of Derby, and Allan Vaugh of Newcastle.
On the same date, John Russell of Derby, a farmer, and his wife, Ellen, deeded an adjoining piece of land to the same trustees. In this deed it is mentioned that the trustees had already begun to erect their chapel when the document was signed.
In December 1884 the chapel having been completed, it was 'deemed advisable' to put the property into the hand of the Home Missions Board. The Home Missions Board then conveyed the land back to the church trustees about 1961.
Through the years, members of the Lower Derby congregation served as deacons and trustees through the Newcastle church. Among the early deacons were Malcolm Amos and James Lyon. Early trustees included Joseph Amos, Malcolm Amos, Thomas Newman and Thomas Vye. For many years, C S Amos served as the treasurer of the Lower Derby funds.
The church at Lower Derby continued as an out-station of the Newscastle church until 1959. Then, under the leadership of Rev Joseph L Knowles, the members organized their own church and employed the ministerial services of the Newcastle Church.
In 1961, a plan was initiated to put a basement under the church. However, after some deliberation, it was decided to erect a completely new building.
The first sod was turned in July. By October, the superstructure was completed and the congregation began to hold services in the basement. The former structure was sold and demolished, but the seats were scraped and painted for use in the new place of worship. The present building was completed in May 1963. It was designed by Colson Sobey and Lorne Dawson, with Charles Plaxton as the contractor.
Many local people helped in various stages of construction. Throughout the years, the church has been blessed by many that have given their time and talents to enrich this place of worship.
The new seats were put in place in 1995. The beautiful new windows and wheelchair accessible ramp were installed in September 1998. The new siding was put on in the fall of 1999 by the skilled hands of Delbert and Delores Mullin, with help from Leu Arsernault and Bob Taylor.
With each challenge we have encountered, we became stronger in our faith. So, we invite you to become a part of the church today and a piece of its history tomorrow.
Written by Cathy Carnahan for a special History Sunday held fall 2000
Past Pastors of the Baptist Meeting House and Lower Derby United Baptist Church
Rev. J L Knowles ____ - 1960
Rev. R Gregg (Interim) April 1960 - August 1960
Rev. D I McClare September 1960 - September 1966
Rev. Lou Farrell June 1967 - September 1979
Rev. Glenn Stairs May 1979 - August 1981
Mr. Graham Parks August 1981 - August 1986
Rev. Shant Manuel January 1987 - July 1990
Mr. Vicent Somers July 1990 - August 1996
Rev. Roger Estey August 1996 - March 1997
Rev. Cecil Symes July 1997 - November 2000
Rev. Hank Dixon (Interim) November 2000 - August 2001
Lic. Colin A Holmes August 2001 - January 2006
Rev Dr Diane Juckes August 2006 - February 2017
Darel Tozer (Interim) May 2017 - October 2017
Rev Gary Churchill (Interim) November 2017 - April 2018
Mr Lawrence Meade May 1970 - November 1970
Rev Ewald Schmidt 1972 - 1974
Mr Rick Hayden (summer) 1974 & 1975
Mr Glenn Stairs (summer) 1977
Mr Raj Sandhu (summer) 1978
Mr Jeffrey Woodcock (summer) 2002
Mr Brandon Tozer (summer) 2003